Have you recently seen the social media giant – Facebook’s public image deteriorating due to their data privacy problem? In fact, most of the MNCs today are in the news in some way or the other. Public image has a great impact on a company’s growth today. It forms 63% of the value of most businesses these days. When a company gets a negative reputation in the market, it takes 4 to 5 years for a company to overcome it.
Before knowing exactly what is public relations, let us look at an example.
An airline got a negative brand reputation when a passenger made a funny song on how his baggage was miscarried by the airline’s staff. This negative image turned out to be very bad for the airline’s business.
Therefore, it is a must for any brand/ company to maintain the right and effective public relations plans and strategies to build good relationships with its target audience as well as the public as a whole. Public Relations is a very important tool for a company.
What is PR?
Public Relations definition according to Cambridge Dictionary: it is the process of maintaining good relationships with a company and the general public. It is a strategic communication tool for a brand/ company to build and maintain mutually beneficial relations with the public. This is the public relations definition.
These days, brands hire Public Relations a company or a specialist to strategize a communication process for different media channels in order to establish a constructive brand personality or image and maintain good relations with the public. I hope this will clear out what is PR.
Objective of Public Relations
After knowing what is public relations not let us look at the objectives. The primary objective of Public Relations is to build and maintain good reputation of the company in the market. Also, Public Relations serves as a tool to maintain good relationships with the general public, potential buyers, investors, employees, partners & other people associated with the company. This process leads in building trust for the company.
Functions of Public Relations
When it comes to functions of public relations, public relations is a different concept from marketing and advertising. Public relations companies or specialists doesn’t invest in Ads, they don’t buy media, they don’t create articles & stories for media companies or websites, and they don’t invest their time & money on attractive promotion schemes. They would rather market the company by making use of editorial columns appearing on different media platforms like news channels, events, TV shows, blogs & websites, newspaper & magazines, etc.
Public Relations comes under the category of earned media for promotion which has its various advantages as spaces on these platforms aren’t purchased. It has a third party action and that’s why Public Relations is viewed without any biases or doubts by the general public.
The roles of a public relations agency or a specialist is to
- Anticipate, analyse, and interpret the public’s perspective and viewpoint of the brand and to create strategies which use earned media channels to support them.
- Draft and create a plan of action to support every new campaign or product a brand launches and make sure it gets published
- Write press releases and distribute them through various mediums.
- Plan and execute unique public outreach campaigns and media workshops/ events.
- Write content for the world wide web (owned and earned referral websites).
- Develop a public relations strategy in case of a crisis.
- Hande the presence of the brand on social media channels and reply to user reviews on Google and other online media channels.
- Conduct a counselling session for the company’s employees to make them understand the company’s policies, programs & processes, company’s responsibility towards employees and their roles responsibility towards the company.
- Deal with the legislative agencies and if needed with the government bodies as a spokesperson of the company.
- Deal with public groups and other companies with regard to social and other relevant policies of the company and the government’s legislation.
- Maintain good relations with investors.
Types of Public Relations
Broadly, public relations can be divided into 7 types which are as follows:
1. Media Relations
Media relations involves developing good & effective relations with the media companies and proving them content as and when needed.
2. Investor Relations
Investor relations involves maintaining good relations with the investors of the company and handling investors workshops/ seminars/ events, providing timely company’s accounts reports and regulatory filings, and taking care of investors, analysts and media queries and complaints.
3. Government Relations
Government relations is the type of public relations which helps a company to communicate with governmental publics with regard to carrying out of policies like CSR, fair & just competition, consumer welfare & protection, workers protection natural environment protection, etc.
4. Community Relations
Community relations involves establishing and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with the communities in which the company operates. Also it involves handling the social and community level aspects of the brand and building a constructive image in the social categories like education, women empowerment, etc.
5. Internal Relations
Internal relations involves maintaining a positive relation with all the workers of the company. Conducting counselling sessions for all the labours/ employees of the company to make them understand the company’s policies, programs & processes, company’s responsibility towards employees and their roles responsibility towards the company.
6. Customer Relations
Customer Relations involves building and maintaining positive relations with the potential buyers and the existing consumers of the company’s products or services. Do market research to understand more about the behavior, interests, and likings of the people and creating strategies to make a positive impact with the general public.
7. Marketing Communications
Public Relations is not a completely independent part of a business strategy. It also involves supporting marketing strategies during product/ store launch, targeted campaigns, brand awareness and retention, etc.
Public Relations Examples
1. Facebook and American Cancer Society – No Shave November
Most of the men in the world are concerned about their facial hair and want it to well groomed.
Facebook in 2009, took a different route and asked people not to shave in the month of November as a challenge. On the first day of November, men got their clean shaved look on and till the end of November they didn’t trimmed or shaved their facial hair. The idea was to make people donate the money they have saved by not shaving their facial hair.
Later, American Cancer Society partnered with Facebook and asked men to donate the money saved towards cancer research.
This is a classic example of Community relation where the brand engages with the community in a very special manner. Overall it is good example when it comes to public relations examples.
2. Johnnie Walker: Jane Walker
On International Women’s Day in 2018, the famous whiskey brand Johnnie Walker launched the female version of their whiskey named as Jane Walker. The idea behind this introduction of the female version was to promote gender equality.
The brand released 25,000 limited edition bottles of Jane Walker where they had shown a women on their icon logo. The brand also donated USD 1 to the companies which empower and support women.
This is a great example of Corporate and Social Responsibility where Johnnie Walker reached the general public through a social message.
3. Paramount Pictures Publicity Stunt of ‘The Ring’
Paramount Pictures wanted to promote its new horror movie, The Ring. In order to get more eyeballs, they performed a crazy publicity stunt where Samara, the protagonist scared the people in real life.
The movie’s most dramatic scene of Samara (scary girl) crawling out of the TV set was recreated in a TV showroom. Samara came out crawling from a hidden door behind a TV screen and scared all those people in that TV showroom.
The publicity stunt went viral instantly and the recorded video from the TV showroom received over 10 mn views on Facebook alone. It is also a really good example for public relations examples.
All in All
This was the complete article on what is public relations in which we tried to explain what is pr with the help of functions of public relations and types of public relations with public relations examples.
I hope this article was helpful to you.